More like pounding: Talley`s jaw dropping approach to ravishing a food dish of its`kibble contents, bits flinging in all directions. At six years old she continues to eat (and I say that lightly) every meal as if it were her last. Many dogs are enthusiastic consumers of kibble: Talley is in a category all her own.
The gulping and gobbling of Talley led me to sit and write; so many of the Look What Labs behaviors can inspire an article. So what to do for these canine kibble pulverizers? It`s not pretty and it surely is not good for their health. I have long enthusiastically recommended the use of interactive treat toys to a) feed dogs who eat too fast and b) as a means of providing environmental enrichment. Here are some ideas:
- Kong Wobbler (virtually indestructible)
- Buster Cube (ditto) However both the latter can be incredibly noisy on non-carpeted floors. Just sayin`.
- Tricky Treat Ball (not for the enthusiastic chewers)
- Kong (soak kibble until mushy, stuff kong freeze and deliver= kongsicle)
- Aikiou Interactive Dog Feeder
- Specially designed divided dishes
- A bowl with some fist sized rocks to eat kibble around. (dog flips dish=lost cause)
- Barring all of the above, a “Go Find It” kibble toss out in the back yard.
A few months ago Talley was introduced to a raw diet, and currently is on an all raw diet. At first all was well; her gulping gobbling ways became tentative and exploratory with the unfamiliar texture of the raw food. Fast forward to a few nights ago: I observed in dismay as Talley, with gaping maw, yes, pounded into the dish of raw as in days gone by. A few minutes after devouring her meal it came right back up outside. And she ate it a second time. I know, fun right?
So, back to the drawing board. Brilliant idea number one: spread out the meat bits on a very large oven pan. Nope. The ravenous eater was slowed perhaps in a minor fashion. As I often do when stumped and need input, I turned to Facebook pals and soon had some great ideas. For those of you who feed raw and need to slow down a diner, read on. (if nothing else you may find it amusing) If you were a fly on the wall you may have overheard from hubby, in a joking way, “that dog is just way too much trouble.”
- Give the meat frozen.
- Distribute the meat in muffin tins.(Can see Talley flipping the tin)
- Stuff the meat into large kongs. YES! I tried this and it worked like a charm in an extra large kong. Sure, a bit of extra work but not unreasonable. And surely better than the reflex food return.
- Also, I suppose the aforementioned divided bowl could work.
As with any raw feeding, whatever is used needs to be thoroughly washed after each meal to avoid contamination. Kongs are amenable to hand washing or going through a dish washer. Good Golly, I think I have the gulping gobbling dilemma solved, with a little help from my friends. Oh and FYI, I do not spend a fortune on the raw diet food. A local Amish butcher saves supplies for me at .50/lb and often throws extras my way. The latter was a very fortunate find.
Until next Friday, Leslie Fisher PMCT CPDT-KA and the Look What Labs
“your pet positively trained” Rainwood Kennels, Elkton MD
Convenient to Bear, Newark and Middletown DE